Why are convection steam ovens so small?

dilzyMarch 25, 2014

I have my eyes set on the Wolf CSO and trying to justify the price, I just wish it weren't so small! It's the biggest on the market from what I've seen in showrooms. Since the steam compartment is at the top, why is it so difficult to make it with a wider body? I know they're coming out with a 30" model but interior cavity will remain the same as the 24" model (roughly 18"). If you have one, do you find this an issue? Are you limited with the size of roasts or pans you can use?

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I have the Gaggenau. It holds a surprising amount of stuff. One of the things you have to remember is the heat is being pushed by the fan. There's no radiant heat to be the correct distance from (at least, in mine). If it were a bigger cavity you'd need a huge amount more of steam. There's no wasted airspace. Compare to the French ranges with the small natural convection ovens.

I can get my 8 qt. Graniteware roaster in my combi-steam. It has to go diagonally because of the handles, but it fits. So does my largest Pyrex baking dish. Most of the time, however, I use the sheet pans that come with it (solid and perforated). I once made 1.5 large turkeys in it, in pieces, in two pans. You really can cook a LOT in it. Not a giant whole turkey, but you could do anything that will fit in a pan without touching the sides.

The thing is, you have to get used to not messing with things. A steam oven wasn't meant to be opened and stirred. Some dishes really do call for being stirred once, but you have to take the dish out, stir and put it back. Remember what the barbecuers/smokers say: If you're lookin' you're not cookin'.

So, yes, you're limited. I can't get my 15 qt. Le Crueset goose pot into the combi-steam. I probably can't get my 9 qt. round bean pot in either. Nor a 25 lb. whole turkey (cut in half, probably not a problem, if you have enough pans). I have gotten a whole brisket in, in the 8 qt. Graniteware roaster though.

Also, when you're steaming vegetables, at least in the Gaggenau, you can prep them all, then put in three or four pans to steam all at once, and save energy. There is condensation, however, if everything is fridge cold.

It takes some time to adjust one's habits to a new way of cooking, but my combi-steam is probably the most used appliance in my cooking.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Plus...the Gagg pre-heats lightening fast. Probably, the single factor that makes this the most used appliance in my kitchen. If it were any larger it would not pre-heat this quickly.

Honestly, don't let the size fool you. It's a workhorse.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:30PM
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So exciting to hear. I will be going to a cooking demo next week and taking DH to convince him. Pretty sure if there's food involved it should be an easy job. Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:37PM
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